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Professor’s Passion Sets Inspiring Example

SDSU professor Kimala Price is an activist for women's rights.
By Laurel Vozley, The Daily Aztec

It all began in Thibodaux, La.

An opinionated, young band geek made her way to Tulane University to understand more about our political system and government. However, what resulted was an experience immersed in community service and a blooming interest in social justice.

Kimala Price, assistant professor of women’s studies at San Diego State, further developed her zest for community activism through her hands-on experience with the black student group on campus and the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana in New Orleans. It laid the groundwork for the person she is today.

About Price

Through her studies of government and policies, Price has developed her own idea of an ideal society.

“(A place where) I could be whoever I want to be and do what is best suited for me without someone constantly telling me that I should be doing this or that,” Price said. “A world where you don’t have to think about hunger; you don’t have to think about pain.”

She exudes a passion and devotion to make the image a reality for everyone.

Following a move to Washington D.C. and joining several women’s groups, the stage was set for Price to make her entrance to SDSU.

“San Diego State was looking for a professor and I kid you not, the position was titled ‘Feminist Activism, Policies and Social Justice,’” Price said. The position was perfectly matched for her.

Her natural compatibility with the major has translated to spirited lectures, and a connection with her students and colleagues.

A role model

Anh Hua, a colleague of Price in the Women’s Studies Department, expresses her admiration of Price as “a role model for many young feminists because of her dedicated work and commitment to integrate scholarship, teaching and activism.”

Activism seems to have a home in Price’s soul. As such, her career philosophy follows a schol- ar-activist model.

“We have the wrongheaded notion that the work has been done,” Price said. “If you look at the statistics, we still have a wage gap, women still make less than men and if you look further down with race and ethnicity, African American and La- tina women make even less than that.”

An advocate for women's rights

As the presidential election approaches, women’s health care is a prominent political issue on the table.

“Ever since Roe v. Wade got passed in 1973, [conservatives] have been on the rampage trying to get it rolled back,” Price said.

Perhaps this discontentment with health care inequalities inspired Price to become a board member of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. The program — originally known as The American Birth Control League — provides affordable health services to the community.

Price believes the possible defunding of Planned Parenthood is dangerous, because people who don’t have the economic means to receive services would loose out.

Considering the widespread confusion regarding Planned Parenthood’s services, Price refutes Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl’s claim that abortions comprise 90 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services.

“That’s an outright lie,” Price said. “Actually, about 93 percent of what we do deals with contraceptives, gynecological exams, breast exams, and testing for sexually transmitted diseases. About 6 percent of what we do is abortions.”

Price is a crusader in the ongoing struggle women face in gaining legal control of their bodies.

She isn’t sure how to attain her ideal society. In the meantime, Price provides students with tools for change, exemplifying a tenacious hope for equality.

This story originally appeared in The Daily Aztec.